Following the recent sex attacks committed during New Year’s Eve celebrations in Innsbruck, Austria, Austrian politician and MEP Barbara Kappel said that the country should adopt tougher immigration laws with regard to asylum seekers and their deportation.
On New Year’s Eve tens of women in Austrian cities were victims to a wave of sex attacks, resembling the ones that took place in German cities a year ago. The attacks were reportedly committed by a group of men of Mediterranean appearance under the age of 30.
“We need to deport [the migrants], and we need binding agreements with third countries that they take back their citizens… because we know from the Ministry of Internal Affairs that 90 percent of the asylum-seekers who are not granted asylum remain in the country — and that’s a big problem,” Kappel told RT.
The politician also noted that if a person is denied an asylum out of legitimate reasons, this person must leave the country. This rule should apply not only in Austria, but also in any other European state, she stressed.
According to the politician, the main problem is that the EU let an unprecedented number of migrants enter the European continent without properly controlling the process. The recent cases of sexual assault should change the attitudes of local authorities to this issue, Kappel stressed.
The victims of the attacks were from Austria and neighboring Italy, Germany and Switzerland, and most were aged between 19 and 25 years old. Most of the assaults were committed between 11.30pm and 1.30am. The EU has been struggling to cope with the large number of migrants fleeing war-torn Middle Eastern countries and arriving in Europe in search of better life. The growing influx of refugees raised security concerns among the local population amid a series of attacks that took place across Europe last year. Last month the Austrian newspaper Kurier reported that the number of sex attacks committed by migrants in Austria more than doubled during 2016. According to interior ministry statistics, in 2015 asylum seekers in Austria committed 39 rapes. Over the first nine months of 2016 the number of asylum seekers under investigation for rape increased to 91, an increase of 133 percent in comparison with the figure for the 12 months previously. Earlier, Austrian Interior Minister Wolfgang Subotka told German newspaper Die Welt that Austria remains in favor of border controls which it imposed at its border with Germany in September 2015 at the height of Europe’s migrant crisis.